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Love—and music—in a time of disaster

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An urban poor community of ramshackle shanties and perennially flooded alleys is hardly the usual setting for a musical. Neither are the themes of frustration and injustice, inchoate dreams and constricted ambitions, class and poverty considered material for a rock opera.

Posted: August 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Atienza, Osmeña on floods, traffic, DAP

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Floods are again expected as Typhoon “Glenda” barrels into the Philippines. While the Bicol region will feel the brunt of the typhoon, it is expected to bring heavy rains to Metro Manila, which means floods will, as usual, engulf many streets and homes. How can we prevent floods after every heavy rainfall?

Posted: July 16th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Night rains

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Many of us lie awake these nights listening to the rain race across the city, wave after wave. We may be grateful for the dry homes we have. We may feel the hostility of the wind and rain and think of the poor people trying to get through the night in kariton hauled up on the sidewalks, or the people sleeping in doorways, allowed to do so by the security guards out of simple compassion, or the people in the shanties of the slums where mothers gather the children as close to them as possible to keep them dry and comforted.

Posted: June 30th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Building disaster resilience

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A 3.4-KILOMETER linear park, with a 10-meter easement from the fault line, will have trees and plants. The illustration includes a school built on the fault line. PHOTO FROM NEW MAKATI CLUP

In most parts of Barangay Sta. Cruz in Makati City, residents have been accustomed to pockets of flooding during heavy rains. “Whenever it rains really hard, the floodwater rises up to the gutter,” said Elisa Lopez, a 60-year-old resident of Montojo Street. Lopez noted that Barangay Sta. Cruz had sprawling rice fields half a century ago.

Posted: November 2nd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Gov’t needs billions of pesos for rehab

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War in Zamboanga, one typhoon after another, floods and landslides everywhere, millions of Filipinos jobless and hungry, politicians looting the treasury, and now a powerful earthquake in Central Visayas that destroyed heritage churches, buildings, roads, bridges and homes and claimed more than 100 lives. What other disasters await us? It is as if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are galloping toward us. Is God punishing us because of corruption?

Posted: October 18th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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